It Really Is Quite Sad, Our Troops, Are Fighting For Their Lives

by James Glaser
October 30, 2003

Last week there was a report about how 600 sick and injured soldiers were being treated so poorly at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Well today there is another report of 400 sick and injured soldiers at Fort Knox, Kentucky being treated just as bad. It is so hard to understand these reports because I know that the Department of Defense has hundreds of billions of dollars to spend and they can't even take care of their own employees.

Yesterday, President Bush told the Nation that he had nothing to do with the "Mission Accomplished" banner that was put up behind him as he spoke on that aircraft carrier last May about the end of major military operations in Iraq. Today we find out that the White House had the banner made and George took it out there with him. That is so sad.

Members of Congress are now telling the country how good things are going in Iraq. They keep talking about our troops building new schools, paving roads, and how we are not getting the real story about Iraq. Last night on the PBS News Hour, there was a report from a Baghdad school and the Principal told how she and the school had received no help from the Americans and the kids were using the same books as last year. She and the staff tore out all of the pictures of Saddam and all of his writings. It is sad to see American Congressmen trying to fool the American people, to make their votes on billions for Iraq seem justified.

Last month there were about 15 attacks a day on our troops. This month it is about 30 a day and in the last seven days there have been 233 attacks. We might not be getting the "real story" about Iraq, but we do know things are going the wrong way over there.

Today the International Red Cross announced that it was going to remove many of its workers from Iraq because of the lack of security. The same was said, by "Doctors Without Borders". Six Months after President Bush said major combat was over and the people in much of Iraq are still living in a war zone. What is sad, is the fact that we don't have enough troops to do anything about it. Last week, the most secure building in Baghdad, the Baghdad Hotel that housed hundreds of Americans came under multiple rocket attacks and today a 68 ton American battle tank was destroyed killing two and wounding one of the crew. What is happening in Iraq is quite sad.

The following report is not about our troops building schools or paving roads, those are the stories Washington wants us to hear. As you read this report, think about the 30+ attacks on our troops a day, think if you believe that our troops are really laying down their weapons and picking up construction tools to build with, or that they are out their paving roads.

I think the real story is that our troops are fighting for their lives.

October 29, 2003

Two G.I.'s Killed When Tank Is Attacked in Iraq


AGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 29—Two American soldiers were killed when their Abrams battle tank was damaged by resistance fighters, and seven Ukrainian troops were wounded in the first ambush of a multinational unit in the Polish sector south of Baghdad, coalition officials said Wednesday.

The latest deaths bring to 115 the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq since President Bush declared an end to major combat May 1. Defense Department figures show 114 U.S. soldiers died in the active combat phase, which began March 20.

The Abrams tank was disabled when it was struck by a land mine or a roadside bomb Tuesday night during a patrol near Balad, 45 miles north of Baghdad, said Maj. Josslyn Aberle, a spokeswoman for the 4th Infantry Division. A third crewman was evacuated to a U.S. hospital in Germany, she said.

It was believed to be the first M1 Abrams main battle tank destroyed since the end of major combat May 1. During the active combat phase, several of the 68-ton vehicles—the mainstay of the U.S. Army's armored forces—were disabled in combat.

The latest attacks, including a nighttime mortar barrage in Baghdad, followed a day of violence in which insurgents targeted American forces and Iraqis who work with the occupation authorities. U.S. officials also announced that Baghdad's Deputy Mayor Faris Abdul Razzaq al-Assam was killed Sunday in a drive-by shooting.

The proliferation of attacks on Iraqis allied with the occupation bodes ill for attempts by the U.S.-led authorities to persuade more Iraqis to join in administering the country and play a greater role in providing security. Resistance forces have targeted several prominent figures, including Aquila al-Hashimi, a member of the Governing Council, who was fatally shot Sept. 20.

A spokesman for the multinational division at Camp Babylon said the attack on the Ukrainians occurred when two of their armored personnel carriers rolled over land mines near Suwayrah about 40 miles southeast of Baghdad.

After the vehicles were disabled, unidentified gunmen opened fire on the disembarked soldiers, the spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

About 1,650 Ukrainians are serving in the Polish-led stabilization force patrolling central and southern Iraq.

In Baghdad, half a dozen mortar rounds exploded late Tuesday in an upscale Jadriya neighborhood across the Tigris River from the U.S.-led coalition headquarters but caused no damage or casualties, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

One landed in a field close to a palace once occupied by one of Saddam Hussein's daughters, now a headquarters for the U.S. civil-military affairs command. Another struck Baghdad University's College of Physical Education, damaging the wall of an enclosed volleyball court. There were no casualties in the shelling.

In Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, insurgents fired late Tuesday on the south gate at the main U.S. military base there. At least one American soldier from the 4th Infantry Division was wounded, witnesses said. A patrol was sent out to search for the assailants, who fled after firing on the troops from a nearby rooftop.

And a U.S. military convoy was attacked Tuesday night by small arms fire in the northern city of Mosul, the military said. There were no casualties.

Rockets were fired Tuesday night at a U.S. military compound in the oil center of Kirkuk, according to Saleh Sabah, a member of the Iraqi National Accord which has offices near the compound.

Sabah said the U.S. troops returned fire with mortars and blocked all roads leading to their garrison.

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